Barkingside manager wants his young squad to enjoy FA Cup tie with Bowers & Pitsea

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2019

Romford vs Barkingside, Friendly Match Football at Ford Sports and Social Club on 30th July 2019

Romford vs Barkingside, Friendly Match Football at Ford Sports and Social Club on 30th July 2019

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barkingside manager Steven Le Sage wants his young squad to enjoy the experience of coming up against BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division outfit Bowers & Pitsea this weekend.

Side travel away to the Len Salmon Stadium on Saturday to take last season's Isthmian North champions in an FA Cup preliminary round clash.

The former Redbridge Reserves boss knows it will be a tough ask but the pressure is off and his side can enjoy being massive underdogs.

"The boys did fantastically well to beat Stansted and secure a place in the next round against Bowers," Le Sage said.

"We have a very young squad and this is a great experience for the team to play against a step three side.

"We've already surpassed what most people would have expected from us, so I just want the team to go out and enjoy the day and see what happens."

Barkingside do however want to give it their all and hopefully make the supporters proud of them against Rob Small's outfit.

"We go into this game as massive underdogs and we also have a lot of keys players missing this weekend, which makes this an even tougher task," added Le Sage.

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"But it is the FA Cup, and it's one of those competitions where anything can happen.

"We're going to go out there and try to put on a performance that will make our fans proud."

Bowers & Pitsea are one of the highest-seeded teams in the competition at this early stage and Le Sage feels even earning a replay would be a huge success for the club.

"Bowers are probably the best team in the competition at this stage, so I don't think we could've drawn a tougher game," he added.

"I think if we managed to take them to a replay, it would still be the biggest surprise of the round.

"We're going to give it our best shot and hope that we get a lot of luck on the day."

They have already caused an upset in the extra preliminary round by beating Essex Senior League side Stansted 4-1.

"Barkingside's FA Cup record is not great and after last season, I don't think many people expected much from us this year," he said.

"However, I think that we deserved the win. We're crossing our fingers we can pull off another shock result."

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